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Thiruvananthapuram corporation cancels final phases of RAY project

The council approved the works standing committee's proposal to cancel the remaining phases of the RAY project and incorporate them into other city corporation schemes.

 In a stark example of city corporation’s failure in timely implementation of centre sponsored schemes, the civic body has been forced to cancel the last two phases of RAY (Rajiv Awas Yojana) which aimed at providing 490 houses to the eligible beneficiaries.

The council approved the works standing committee’s proposal to cancel the remaining phases of the RAY project and incorporate them into other city corporation schemes.Mathippuram in Vizhinjam was chosen as the site for implementing RAY in four phases at a cost of Rs 71.86 crore in 2011. Twelve years later, the corporation was able to construct only 542 out of 1,032 houses in two phases.

The third phase aimed at constructing 326 houses with utility infrastructure and social infrastructure. In the fourth phase, the target was 164 houses with utility infrastructure, social infrastructure, dry fishing unit, community work centres and garment units. The third and fourth phase were to be implemented at Rs 17.23 crore and Rs 12.66 crore respectively.

The construction works of the third and fourth phases couldn’t begin even after all these years. In the third phase, huts on the project site needed to be demolished, but that didn’t happen. The fourth phase project site is with the harbour engineering department and the site is yet to be handed over.

The 67th central sanctioning and monitoring committee reviewed the progress of the project and decided that those houses which were allotted before 2015 May and whose work couldn`t begin may be cut down.

A review meeting convened by the executive director of Kudumbasree discussed this matter and decided to get a council decision.

The works standing committee meeting held in November finalised the decision to cancel the houses and move these projects to other components under city corporation`s schemes. It is less probable that the corporation could mobilise funds for the project.

The cumulative project estimate of Rs 29 crore for the final two phases of the project was finalised at least 10 years ago.

The corporation will have to take into account factors like cost escalation, change in schedule of rates, rise in cost of building materials before drawing up an estimate for these works. The present estimate is well likely to exceed by a fairly good percentage making it hard for the corporation to tap its resources and execute the project.

RAY aimed at legalizing existing slums and thus help them avail of the same level of basic amenities that the rest of the town gets. The project envisaged a ‘slum-free India’ by encouraging states/Union Territories to tackle the problem of slums in a definitive manner.


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